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Author's profile photo Nektarios Vasileiou

SAP BPC Move to SAC: How to create a business workflow for BPC/BW live models with SAC Calendar

Introduction

We want to simplify our SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) customers’ transition journey to xP&A and to SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) by allowing them to move at their own pace progressively, without disruption of their planning processes. To facilitate the MOVE of SAP BPC customers to SAP Analytics Cloud, we changed our commercial policy by introducing the BPC Runtime License and we provide technical solutions for tight integration and live connectivity options with on-premise BPC applications. With this approach you can avoid double licensing, safeguard your BPC on-premise investments, even extend and combine them with other use cases in the cloud.

In SAP Analytics Cloud you can integrate your BPC embedded planning models via the BPC live-connection. This enables live planning with your existing BPC models by using SAC as a frontend user interface, leveraging the existing BPC objects. You can consume BPC input queries and BPC planning sequences into SAC stories and do a writeback from the SAC front end into your BPC planning providers, so data modelling and data persistency resides in your on-premise BPC system.

So far, so good…but how about the business workflows? How can I organize the planning process and monitor activities with BPC live planning in SAC?

Business Process Flows (BPF), the functionality to guide the business users through pre-defined steps in BPC Embedded, is currently not covered by the BPC Runtime license. You also cannot seamlessly integrate the SAC story hyperlink into your BPF steps since the context/parameter cannot be passed from BPF to the SAC hyperlink. On the other hand, the Calendar functionality in SAC provides many capabilities to manage processes and orchestrate workflows but does not currently support live BW/BPC models.

In this blog I am going to describe how you can use the SAC calendar with BPC live planning in SAC.

How to

To start, I already have in place a simple BPC live planning example, which follows a quantity times price approach for planning sales and contribution margin of vehicles across Europe per Region and Product Category. See below the overall architecture, where SAC is used as the frontend user interface:

Now I want to create a simple workflow for data collection from all regions. Leveraging the wizard in the SAC calendar I want to generate tasks and processes from a driving dimension, which will be the Region dimension in this example. But how can this be done given that the BPC live models are not supported in the SAC calendar?

  • Build an empty Dummy Model in SAC and include only the driving dimension for the SAC calendar wizard (g. Region). In this dimension, maintain the responsible users of each regional level. There are different options to maintain the user assignments: 1) manually in dimension, 2) use an Analytic Application to maintain the dimension properties, 3) if a public dimension is used, you can import the user assignments through a BW query from a mapping table in BW/BPC. This is a more robust approach since it could be synchronized with the analysis authorizations in BW.

  • In the SAC story used for data collection, where the BPC input query and planning sequences are consumed, link the driving dimension (Region) between the BPC live model and the SAC dummy model.

  • Now go to the SAC calendar wizard and create the process for data collection

 

Step 1: assign the BPC live planning story into Work Files

Step 2: select the dummy model and Region dimension and select the members

Step 3: Select the Person Responsible property for deriving the task assignees

Step 4: nothing special, give the Naming Rule as always

Step 5: Check the automatic assignments of business responsible (assignees) to tasks (Region) and generate the process

  • Go to one of the generated tasks (Region level) and select the Work File, the SAC live planning story. You can see that the context/parameter, namely the region value, is taken from the workflow task into the BPC live planning story.

Summary

A business workflow ensures an organized execution of any planning process and related activities, and the SAC calendar provides lots of features and functions to support this. This approach enables you to integrate the SAC calendar with your BPC live planning applications. Below is a high-level architecture overview of the solution. As mentioned already, the import of user assignments through a mapping is a more robust approach and could be synchronized with the analysis authorizations in BW.

Check out this further information to learn more about BPC live planning in SAP Analytics Cloud:

 

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      Author's profile photo Chanchal Gupta
      Chanchal Gupta

      Thanks for sharing Nek, well written.